China’s capital city on Sunday stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus cases by virtually banning people from travelling to Beijing from provinces with the high COVID-19 transmission rates. To further reinforce the shield against the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has rolled out a range of measures to strengthen the management of personnel returning from regions with relatively high virus transmission rates, including imposing restrictions on their purchase of railway tickets and air services, state-run Global Times reported.
People from medium- or high-risk regions or planning to return to Beijing but have a travel history related to these regions will be prevented from buying tickets for air and railway services.
In addition, if they choose to drive into the Chinese capital, they will also be persuaded to make a U-turn and leave, the paper said. Several Chinese cities, including Wuhan where the coronavirus first surfaced in December 2019, have reported resurgence of COVID-19 cases, stated to be the Delta variant.
The Global Times report said health codes for people who are still in medium- and high-risk regions will be adjusted to the yellow colour, and anyone with a health code that is not green will not be allowed to board planes or trains bound for Beijing.
Presenting a green health code will be a must. Only when medium- and high-risk regions are downgraded to low-risk or when travellers don’t have a travel history in designated risk regions within 14 days, can their yellow codes return to the normal green colour.
After gaining a green health code, passengers would also have to present a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours of boarding transport to return to Beijing. Travellers should inform their workplace or residence before their trip, undergo a 14-day health monitoring period and take a nucleic acid test on their day of arrival and another on their seventh day in Beijing, the daily reported.
Also, as part of efforts to shield the capital from the virus, Beijing Daxing International Airport has announced to suspend flight routes from 15 cities including hotspots of outbreaks such as Nanjing, Yangzhou and Zhangjiajie, Wen Wu, the airport’s deputy general manager, told the daily on Saturday.
The Chinese mainland on Saturday reported about 150 positive and asymptomatic cases from several provinces including Jiangsu, Henan, Yunnan, Hubei and Hunan, according to the country’s National Health Commission.
Beijing, where the country’s top leadership resides, also registered some cases during July last week though there were no reports of fresh cases in the past few days. State-run Xinhua news agency reported that the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports has urged all sports and fitness facilities to exercise stricter epidemic prevention and control measures as the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads.
A notice released by the bureau said that the number of people in sports facilities in Beijing is increasing with great and frequent personnel exchanges, which leads to severe challenges in epidemic prevention and control, especially in areas such as swimming spots, confined gyms and sports training facilities.
China has reported a total of 93,701 infections since the COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019.